Pack Some Crayons Next to Your Camera

March 9, 2010

crayonsIf you’re a seasoned traveler, or if you’ve done your studying up on how to be a prepared traveler, you probably have a well-packed carry-on bag for long flights.

You’ve got your liquids (all under 4oz.) in a Ziplock bag. You have the smallest possible mp3 player loaded up with your favorite tunes. You have a book or a couple of magazines, a light snack, and maybe even a change of socks so you can feel somewhat fresh when you land.

But did you pack crayons? Scrap paper? Stickers or a small plush toy? No? Well then how in the world are you going to keep the four-year-old next to you entertained while his mother is out cold and he’s bouncing around in his seat?

This was what I had to figure out on a flight to London, and it was the one thing I hadn’t prepared for. It was disappointing mostly because I have a pretty good track record for being seated next to attractive single men close to my age, so I’m used to chatting flirtatiously with my neighbor, not babysitting him.

But a good traveler has to be prepared for anything, so I did what I could. Mom had luckily come pretty prepared with some of those crazy markers that only make a color on special paper, so that the kid can’t draw all over furniture, which is smart. She also had a couple of books and some headphones so that little Kyle could watch a cartoon, but his attention span only lasted about 15 minutes on one activity and then he turned his attention to poking me in the arm to see if I really was asleep or if I was faking. I was not faking.

I decided to be a decent sort of person, so Kyle and I chatted about his shoes, which featured Lightening McQueen, we talked about how now the plane was up in the air, but soon it would land on the ground, and that meant the plane was going down, not up. And no, we would not hit any trees.

It wasn’t the worst situation. I was almost thrown up on once during a landing, and that was far more horrible than having to explain “up” and “down” over and over again, but I do wish that I had thought to pack an emergency kid kit for this kind of situation. Learn from my mistake and always reserve one of your bag’s compartments for goodies you can share with a little friend.

One comment

  1. Great idea. Much better than the standard under-breath-muttering and icy stares usually reserved for those situations.

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